Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the Street in New Haven: Cannondale CAD

Took the family to New Haven so that the kids could go see the Peabody Museum.  I have lived in CT 3/4s of my life and I have never been but then again, until I met my wife I didn't know anything existed west of the Housatonic River.  On the way to the museum I saw some really nice fixies locked to parking meters that I would have liked to have fawned over but today wasn't about me and my obsessions.

However, I did see this interesting Cannondale outside the Museum.  By checking the interwebs there is no such thing as a Cannondale CAD frame but my guess is that it's an M900 frame that was built for a pretty tall guy.

In fact just as I was leaving this really tall guy came up to and told me it was his.  He said it was customized for him.  My guess is he got the biggest frame he could find but it was still too small for him and had it built up to compensate.  What got me, however, was all the gear left on the bike while he was in the museum.  Lights, bottle, pump, pack, I would never leave that much removable stuff on my bike, anywhere.

These pix taken with my camera phone.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fixed and Burley, II

I tried this once before, two years ago, on the same trail in fact.    Only I think I was riding my first fixed gear conversion, a Bianchi Classica, which I really enjoyed riding.  It's funny looking back on that post because back then I was able to fit both boys in the Burley and now only the youngest fits and he is almost too big for it..  

Right off the bat I discovered a problem riding with the Burley attached to the Stinson.  My left foot was hitting the rear coupling to the trailer. At the main parking lot off Pepper Street I raised the seat an inch and that helped immensely.  Another thing I noticed was riding Death Fork the other day felt a lot different than riding this bike.  I think mainly due to frame size.

Riding with young children is all about the snack.  I only bring good for you foods so clearly they are not in it for the munchies.

Brodie and I rode up the Newtown section and it still needs some work.  The trailer just fit in some places.  I actually didn't notice the missing sign at first and rode right past it but then the trail got worse and I knew there was something wrong so I turned around rode back to where the trail officially ends.

I love how there are tracks still in place

Brodie really enjoyed the ride today and wants to do it again.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday Night Riding - Lighting Optional

I went Friday after work to see how long I could ride at Upper Paugussett before I needed artificial luminescent help.  I decided to try something different this time around but riding up the Polly Brody, then down the Gussy, drop down the blue trail, which by the way looked like it used to be a stream, to the Jeep Trail and then ride back up the Gussy and then back down the Polly Brody.  Starting from the intersection of Tamarack and the loops in the forest it's about an 8 mile ride.  Something to consider when training for races next year.

Heading down the Gussy a little after 6 PM.

Coming back up at around 6:35 PM

On the Cut through to Mulikin Trail at 6:50 PM.  I bombed back down the Brody without lights but I probably should have had them on.  

On the way back I stopped and took a picture of the cars in the parking lot.  On the ride in I stopped to check out the BMW X5 and happened to notice some kids parked next to it. They told it belongs to some guy that fishes in the lake.  My guess is that the Teeny Boppers were planning on some lakeside rendezvous.  Sure enough there were more cars in the lot.  I hope they were at the rope swing and not at the beach.  The walk up from the beach, in the dark, would be eerie.  Even coming from the rope swing would be pretty eerie but it's half the distance.

Once on Sanford Road, I put on the light

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Friday Fix: Ride of the Death Fork

I have been looking for an opportunity to road test the Lambert Grand Prix "Fix" and finally decided to try it on a commute to work.  I was taking a chance because if I had a problem I would be either walking home or walking to work, something I have yet to do.  This was the first time I was riding really skinny tires and I didn't see the roll out from the Housatonic River Valley as having too many options.  It was either head into town or head into town.

When I started to really get moving the bike sang of swiftness.  Unbelievably the larger Crank gave me much more descent control and in the flats, the bike would take off.  Not quite to the end of Hanover Road, maybe 2.5 miles into the ride did I hear the first creak.  Figured it was something to do with the cranks and later I would find out that was indeed the case.  Rather than taking the long way to work I cut back on Currituck Rd and then over to Tunnel Rd and then Barnabas Rd over to Old Hawleyville and one of my normal routes to work.  If it wasn't for the Timbuktu bag I would have had a really good ride but it kept shifting.  I think I am done with it and moving on to a back pack.

Once at the office I went over the bike and yes the non drive side crank was loose.  Fortunately, the building services guy had a 13mm socket that I could use to tighten the crank.  On the way home, that tightening lasted about 5 minutes and the crank was loose again by the time I reached the bottom of the office driveway.  I pushed on anyway and was able to stop off at the Goodie Shop to show them the bike that I had bought from them the previous summer.  Linda, the owner, really liked it.

On the way home, basically retracing the morning's route I discovered a problem with my brake.  I must have have come loose and there was a problem with the aero lever.  I opted for a short cut over to Hanover Road on this little dirt road called Papoose.  I walked the big hill because with the brake not 100% I wasn't going to take a chance.  My guess is that some of the squeaking is coming from the sealed cartridge bearing in the bottom bracket.  Yes, a 1970s era bike with sealed cartridge bearings in the bottom bracket.  I going to have to get one of these to replace it:

Pic courtesy of Aspire Velotech

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Centurion Iron Man Expert Dave Scott

A friend of mine and fellow fixed gear enthusiast, Pete W, who runs the ibike 1cog blog, told me about this frame be offered on CL.  For $50 bucks, I couldn't resist.  I have a few frames laying around awaiting a Fix but none of them really interest me right now and it's been awhile since I have had a good Fix project, especially after what I went through on the Lambert, that I have yet to ride.

Looking on line I am guessing this was the 1985 or 1986 version.  The 1987 version was pink and orange (blech) and 1984 and below seem to be all red.

I haven't decided on the bars just yet.  I am actually considering flop & chops with the brake lever in the center but some flared drops would look cool, too.  Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Late Show

Headed out to Upper Paugussett at 6 PM ride Tuesday evening. I wanted to see how long and how dark I could go before I needed some luminescent help. I stopped at the Deer Blind to take some field of fire shots. Fortunately the blind points away from the trail so there is not much chance of getting shot at.

The new log cut is still untouched.  I am thinking that these two future skinnies will be on the both sides of the trail.

Ran into three guys on the Gussy Trail.  That is a first!  One them, closest to the front is from Newtown.  I didn't get their names.  They were headed in the same direction but turned at the connector to the Echo Valley Parking lot.

I got all the way down the Gussy without light but finally turned it on once I was on the Jeep trail.  At this point the Garmin said 2.71 miles and it was 7 PM so I headed down the Brody back to Pond Brook to complete the circuit.  I did happen to notice in the Echo Valley lot that same BMW X5.  The owner of that vehicle must be hunter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another Wallk of Shame

Seems busted spokes were quite prevalent on Sunday. There was Joe's pre-ride mechanical that he fixed prior to us leaving on the straggler ride and this pour soul was returning right before we left.

Three busted spokes! When asked how big he went the answer was no drops at all, just normal riding.

Eric, from the ECHO group, also busted a few spokes. Apparently on a $400 rear wheel!  Can't believe mediocre Gay City is really taking a toll on bikes!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Single and Gay

Took the Single Speed to Gay City State Park in Hebron, CT for the annual CT NEMBA Fall Fiesta.  We had a pretty good turn out but many of the rides kicked off later than usual, largely because our usual spot, near the entrance to the park was taken by some religious outfit doing some sort of mass baptism.  As usual I take the last group of stragglers out with me.

This was the first time we ever had a pre-ride mechanical.  Joe is seen here putting his wheel back together after replacing a broken spoke that he noticed while riding around in the parking lot.  In the meantime, I paid a visit to the ECHO MTB and Fitness Club.  I think this was their first MTB event since the spring.  We have been meaning to get together for a Tour de Mesh ride but it never panned out so this was the next best thing.  

Their usual antics were in full swing buy putting up a wanted poster of me.

I think they are just jealous because I ride a single speed 29er, Monster Crosser, and a fixed gear on the roads!  Not to mention the inventor of the Fetish Fixation 69er.

Clem is seen here with his pre-ride morning eye opener:  a bottle of Jamison and a Long Trail.  After paying my respects I gathered the stragglers and we headed off only to have another straggler drive up as we were heading off.  We waiting for him and then we were off.  I decide to follow the Intermediate Route which was flagged with yellow markers.  This was an awesome ride that put us on some trails that I had never ridden before.

One such trail was the Ribbon Trail which has to be some of the best Single Track in the state of Connecticut!  You pick it up off the gas line by cutting up towards Birch Mountain Road and then it's one continual, flowy, windy, curvy descent to the double track in the Black Ledge Falls Park.  Sweet single track!  There were little hucks and rollers along the way, as well, as some bigger ones, too.  Plenty of tech, too!  Some of the technical sections reminded me of the Black Diamond Dave trail at Wilton Woods.

We got to the power lines by 12:30 and were thinking about cutting a chunk out to get back in time for the Pizza and Swag raffle but then it dawned on me that I had all the swag locked up in my car, so I decided, the group decided to press on and we did!




Interesting bog

The Straggler Ride
We rode 11.78 miles today.
You can check out the ride on

After my presidential duties were taken care of I headed back to the Echo Party to sample some of their infamous Giles Corey brews, which included an Oktoberfest and German Dark Things which I renamed to the actual German:  Dunkles Dinge.

Lady Lindsay and Sir Zac
Nothing beats a good micro after a hard ride!

Drinking the Dunkles Dinge while giving my acceptance speech as an honorary ECHO Member.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eating Gelato with the Giant

Katie and headed over to the Farmington Canal Linear Park over in Cheshire for our weekly Tandem ride.

At the Hamdem Line, the trail turns into New Haven and Northhampton Line.

In a way, they are two separate trails.  Road cuts on the Cheshire Division have only one barrier for cars making it easier to get through if you were pulling a Burley Trailer.  However, on the New Haven Division, there are two.  I have ridden through there with my boys last year doing the bike train and from time to time the Burley will hit one of the barriers.

We stopped off at Sergio's for a Gelato, well Katie had Gelato and I had a small bag of potato chips

Serio's is a Pizza Parlor right next to the Greenway
and next to the head of the Sleeping Giant
of Sleeping Giant State Park
They are home to the Robert Cooper Special:  Pesto Shirmp Pizza
Robert is Katie's deceased grandfather

Bikers, walkers, rollerbladers welcome!

We saw deer along the way

This profile is interesting because the peak happens at a bypass just past the Sleeping Giant Railroad Station (no longer in use).  The original bed went through a cut but it was either too wet or the builders wanted to tie it in with a parking lot.  At Skiff Ave there is another diversion due to the fact there is a huge shopping center in the way.